Running from Shadows

My Marathon des Sables . . . and beyond

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Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path 2016: Stage 6 – The End . . . Sad Face . . . Sniff, Sniff

Friday 2 December 2016

The last early start. Don’t think I bothered with breakfast other than a quick protein milkshake.

I’d decided today that I could and so I was going to leave pretty much everything out on Stage 6. I didn’t tell anybody that, of course.

With a final briefing from Race Director Stefan we all lined up and were given the off. From which point I just stretched out and ran. And I wasn’t going to stop. Continue reading

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Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path 2016: Stage 5 – Warning! Massive Spider!

Thursday 1 December 2016

To get out of the Kulen Park before it reopened an early start was needed. It was still dark as we lined up, headtorches on. Various grades of disability were now evident for all as we hobbled our way across the wooden bridge from our camp to gather for a 6am start.

Evident for all, that is, apart from the handful at the top of the rankings. Brits Sally and Clare were still smiling, and had been all week: they were 1st and 2nd females and 3rd and 4th overall in the general results just behind the 1st and 2nd males. Proving again that the longer the race, the closer the women are to beating the pants off the men (as Jill Hamill did, by hours, in the 2015 race) . . . Continue reading

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Global Limit’s The Ancient Khmer Path 2016: Stage 4 – Paradise Has Pringles

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Stage 3 is no doubt the hardest of the 6 stages of Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path foot race and Stage 4 starts all too soon. For any future competitors, no matter how hard it is, do not quit on Stage 3 (easier said . . .)!

I wish I’d known in 2015 . . . Stage 4 has an incredible finish: the Kulen waterfalls, fried bananas, coconut sellers, fried rice and chicken. Oh, and BBQ Pringles. And having not long finished running for 39 miles, Stage 4’s 18 miles would be a doddle (!). After a swim and a wash in the waterfalls you’d be refreshed enough to leap out and immediately do Stage 3 all over again.

(That’s a massive exaggeration.) Continue reading

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Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path 2016: Stage 3 – The Dreaded Long One With Muddy Bits

Tuesday 29 November 2016

What does one think waking from a deep slumber to be hit with the realisation . . . after those first two tough days you’re going to run 39 miles (62.2km) in 90%-plus humidity in temperatures in the 40Cs?!

You don’t. It gets filed somewhere in the back of the mind, but it still sits there simmering quietly and marinading in the juices of not knowing what’s coming up. It was an early start and time to eat. Time to pack. Think only of the first 5 miles or so. Break it down, piece by piece. Eventually the end will inevitably appear. Continue reading

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Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path 2016: Stage 2 – Cow Bells & Privilege

Monday 28 November 2016

Hot. Very hot.

Long (very long) straight tracks looking out onto long-distant horizons. Very long.

But before I get onto that . . . My ear-plugs and herbal sleeping tablet saw to it that I didn’t hear the dogs reported to have started battling at somewhere between 3 and 4am. Or the cockerel. Still, a 4.30am start is early enough. Then I heard them! Continue reading

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Global Limit’s Ancient Khmer Path 2016: The Bit Before The Race Started, Part II

Saturday 26 November 2016

I didn’t fancy eating tarantulas today on the journey to The Middle of Nowhere and pre-Stage 1 camp, so a slap-up breakfast was in order. And before long, with a comforting familiarity from the previous year, it was all-aboard the bus to begin several hours of gazing out of the window as we passed from city, to town, to village, to hamlet, via well-paved roads which gave way to huge pot holes: recent heavy rains had done some serious damage to compacted red mud that served as roads in more remote parts. Continue reading